I can't believe it's only been a week and a half since I left home for a very close friend's wedding followed by a ridiculous road trip. It seems like a month.
The wedding was a lot of craziness, with a little drama thrown in for some extra zest. I did a lot of planning of my own possibly someday wedding, which mostly consisted of eliminating lots of steps as unnecessary. That is, unnecessary for me. For her, I hope they combined to make the day all that she dreamed of it being.
As you can imagine, being single at the wedding of one of your closest friends is quite the emotional roller coaster. As I go through some of this, I hope that you recognize that these emotions did not replace the joy and excitement for my friend, but were a part of the great big mix.
The first emotion was apprehension. In every marriage there is a fundamental change. It is what a marriage is. There is now a bond between two people that didn't exist before, no matter how close they were as they were dating and engaged. In one of my longest friendships, there is always a little sadness over the change, even though you're so excited for that person. Her sister, another of my close friends, has recently married and had a child, so I was living out those relationship changes with one while anticipating it in the other. Even knowing that the friendship will last and continue to grow, there is apprehension over the changes.
Somewhere underneath it all was a little whisper that I could barely hear:
Then in the chaos of last minute details and running around, I became in charge of one particular detail. Through a miscommunication, it was suddenly out of my control, and I didn't want the bride to know about it, because I was trying to decrease her stress, not add to it. Mind you, this was a very minor detail, but I can get worked up over little things as easily as I can big things sometimes.
In my head: Dang it! Here I was trying to help, and now it's going to make it worse! What if the right person doesn't get here first? If the right person does get here first, it'll be okay, but otherwise it might be worse! God, please let the right person get here first... but what if they don't?
At that moment, there was absolutely nothing that I could do to take control and make things better. I had to let go and simply wait.
It took several times, but then for about 10 minutes of waiting, I was able to simply relax and trust. Later, after I had trusted long enough, I tried to fix it by worrying some more, but always that little whisper in my heart:
So I waited a few more minutes. Yes, it all worked out fine in the end.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful, and the bride was all that a bride should be. I was so incredibly happy for her. I was also caught by the sense of the groom's utter captivation for his bride. I wondered if it would ever be possible that anyone would ever be interested enough to give me a second look, let alone be so captivated that he would want to spend the rest of his life with me. There it was, that rising swell of doubt and fear.
The wedding was wonderful, and the reception, well, was a reception.
The readings at the Mass that Sunday were just for me. I'm not going to quote them in full, but I'll let you read them if you want.
The first was from Job 38, where God reminds Job who was really in charge. (God is, in case you didn't read it.) When you're single, and there are very few single guys around, let alone single guys with faith, let alone single guys with faith that are actually interested in you, it's easy to think that this is too big for God to handle. So a little reminder of the basics was much needed.
Then it was on to Psalm 107:23-31. I loved this! First it talks of men that had seen the wondrous works of the Lord, but that when they were plunged into the depths of the sea their "courage melted away" and they were "at their wits' end". Yes! You mean I'm not the only one that loses it at the first sign of trouble, even when I've seen many of the works of the Lord already? Awesome! Finally, they call out to the Lord, and He stilled the sea, hushed the waves, and brought them to their desired haven.
The Gospel reading was Mark 4:35-41. Jesus got in the boat with the disciples to sail to the other side of the sea. A storm came up, but Jesus was asleep. That's how it feels sometimes. Why is God sleeping, and not doing anything to make this stop? God, do you not care? Jesus' response to the disciples is His response to me: "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"
My head goes in all directions. What does this all mean? Does this work on trust mean that He's going to finally answer my prayer? If it does, how long am I going to have to wait? Am I going to meet someone on the way out of church, or are we talking another week, or worse yet months?
Wait for it...
Oh no! What if it means that I'll still have years to wait or if it means that I'll have to be single for the rest of my life, and God's asking me to trust Him even while He's letting me down?
Wait for it...
Oh. I suppose really trusting God means not knowing who, when, or if, but just trusting. It's not about figuring out what one thing or another means, it's only about resting in God's plan as He rolls it out.
I wish I could tell you that I finally got it. I did get it for all of a day or two. Then I started the 11 hours of driving home from my trip. It was a wonderful trip and lived up to all the anticipation, but it's over. It's back to the daily grind. Back to the same routine, back to work, back to plodding along. I'm tired, and I'm gearing up for another close friend's wedding. (Again, can't wait for the wedding, but I've had enough with my silly emotions.) Once I dropped my sisters off, and I was back to being alone. When I opened my apartment door, there was a little mustiness, a little extra dust, and nothing but a baby spider to greet me.
And I fear.
I fear being alone will last forever.
I fear everyone moving on in their lives and leaving me behind.
I know these fears aren't necessarily rational (especially the second one, given the amazing family and friends that I have), but they are my fears nonetheless and they're always waiting for me.
Do you trust My power?
Do you trust My goodness?
Eh, God? What's that You say? I get the feeling that you're trying to tell me something, but I can't quite make it out.
So He gave me another lesson.
The most recent Sunday Gospel was from Mark 5, and our priest gave an amazing homily on it. This is the healing of Jairus' daughter, and he pointed out that Jesus could have cured Jairus' daughter before she died, but Jesus allowed her to die anyway. He allowed Jairus' faith to be tested further. Jairus could have done as his servants suggested (leave the Master alone, it's useless), but he chose to listen to Jesus instead: "Do not fear, only believe."
Father kept saying that over and over: "Fear is useless; just have faith."
Okay, let me review this one more time to see if I've got it:
I hope the test is multiple choice.